The Mayor of London’s Budget has successfully passed its final hurdle following support from London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM. The Budget is the last of this Mayoral term and delivers an additional £100 million for tackling violent crime. Ms McCartney said she also wanted to support the delivery of record levels of affordable homes, the expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and better funding for the Met Police and the London Fire Brigade.
The Mayor is raising the policing precept of Council Tax by 22 pence a week. This is expected to raise an additional £15.7 million for crime reduction and provide fast-track funding for 600 police officers for the next financial year. This comes after City Hall investment saw police officer numbers increase to above 31,000 for the first time since 2017, after a decade of Government cuts.
Earlier this month, the Mayor announced his Budget would put an additional £55.5 million into tackling the causes of violent crime through early intervention initiatives and prevention programmes. This brings the total invested in tackling violence to more than £100 million.
The Budget will also support the delivery of record levels of affordable homes, with City Hall announcing this month that it is on course to hit 17,000 starts by the end of the financial year. It will also help to deliver the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to the North and South Circulars next year.
Ms McCartney criticised the decision of Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and Brexit Alliance Group Assembly Members to reject the Budget. The Conservative Group sought to amend the Budget to cut hundreds of job posts at City Hall which are essential to delivering its affordable housing programme, air quality and environmental work, and adult education across the city.
Joanne McCartney AM also attacked their attempt to cut the non-policing element of council tax, which she said would remove essential funding for the London Fire Brigade.
The Green Group have called on the Mayor to remove money from the Strategic Investment Fund, which Sadiq Khan says is set aside for no-deal contingency planning and boosting economic growth. In voting against the Budget, Green Assembly Members also rejected support for the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:
“Londoners are desperate to see City Hall tackling violent crime, the climate emergency and the housing crisis, and that’s what this Budget is aimed at.
“It’s disappointing to see other groups on the Assembly were unwilling to get behind it, given that they try to convince us they want to tackle violence and they want to see more action on environmental issues. It’s clear that in reality they don’t share the priorities of Londoners and they should be honest about that.”